Minneapolis public school food service workers voted to authorize a strike on Wednesday, with 98.5% of the union’s 200 members voting in favor.
Union members should give 10 days notice before a possible strike.
Service Employees International Union Local 284, which represents the workers, says the workers are working under a contract that has expired for nearly two years.
RELATED: Minneapolis Schools Food Service Workers to Hold Strike Authorization Vote
Workers demand higher wages and better working conditions. They also say they don’t get the same summer employment benefits when they’re not working because there are so many part-timers.
They also held a rally Wednesday afternoon in northeast Minneapolis.
Tilly Gitchuway, a 26-year veteran of Minneapolis public schools, said the work she and her fellow food service workers do needs to be recognized.
“Our work is important,” she said. “We come every day with a smile and make sure they have the food they need because we love our children. It is important that children can learn and grow from the nutritious meals we provide. That’s why we voted yes.
The MPS released the following statement on Wednesday:
“Minneapolis Public Schools food service workers are essential partners who serve daily meals to our more than 29,000 students. While MPS was in remote training, our catering workers showed up to work every day to prepare and distribute boxed meals to our students and families in need. Throughout the pandemic, they have worked selflessly on the front lines. We hailed them as heroes then, and we continue to hail them as heroes today.
“MPS is committed to reaching an agreement in our upcoming mediation sessions to ensure that access to meals for students is not interrupted and that our food service workers are fairly and adequately compensated.“
Minneapolis Public Schools
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